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Activities in the Pyrenees in Spring by Marie-Aude Koné

Updated: Mar 7, 2023



Winter is now close to its end in Gascony and the Pyrenees, even though we are still having some cold days and nights, but have no fear, Simply Gascony has good news for you: Spring is around the corner, and it is an wonderful time to explore the Pyrenees Mountains, as the snow slowly disappears and the area’s natural colours gradually make their way back. Flowers blossom, the fauna and flora come out of hibernation, rivers thaw out, and the scenery unfreezes.


For those who are still not ready to let go of winter, and especially skiing, the good news is that the North-facing French Pyrenees still offer good skiing conditions in March and perhaps even April. Why not enjoy the ski slopes a few times before the snow disappears completely?

As you now know, our Working Partner Sarrat Sport can help you with everything you need to enjoy one last ski vacation before the end of winter. For more information, please read our January blog.





However, if you are done with skiing and looking forward to enjoying the Pyrenees in Spring, then you will be in for a real treat! According to the excellent travel company, Responsible Travel :

“…These mountains might have been carved specially for multi-activity holidays. Especially in the summer months, you can enjoy an adrenaline packed week that will take you thoroughly beyond your comfort zone…”

Our Working Partner Sarrat Sport has a ‘sister’ company called Sarrat Évasion (‘Évasion’ in French means ‘escape’ or ‘getaway’). This company is also based in Saint-Lary-Soulan and specialises in organising outdoor activities – they have everything you might need to try out some amazing activities with your family or your friends.

Whether you are looking for sporty activities or quieter ones, Sarrat Évasion has you covered. They offer a large range of activities from canyoning to cycling or ‘speleology’ (exploring caves).

Canyoning

If you are not familiar with canyoning, it is a sport that consists in progressing along a canyon by using various methods such as hiking, climbing, abseiling, sliding, stemming, chimneying and rappelling. With Sarrat Évasion, you can spend the day canyoning in the famous canyons Mont Perdu and Sierra de Guara in Spain. They offer 160 itineraries designed for beginners from 7 years old to more experienced adults. Please note that it is necessary to know how to swim for this activity.





Mountain biking

For those of you who love cycling, the Pyrenees are the perfect spot to do this in spring and summer. With the help of Sarrat Évasion, you will have the opportunity to do mountain bike rides with electric bikes, and more technical rides with downhill bikes. They also offer a tutor service to help you improve your biking skills, whichever option you choose from their wide array of choices - from a few hours to a day, it is up to you to decide what is best for you.

Parcours Aventure (adventure trail)

This trail is a mixture of canyoning and climbing. From one rock face to the other, you will do a succession of rope or cable activities above water. During this adventure, you will try rope walking to zip lining, to using stretched nets, and much more.





Rafting / canoe / kayak

If you are a fan of rafting, canoe or kayak, you will be able to do it guided by certified instructors. Sarrat Évasion have created various packages for you to find exactly the right one for you.





Mountain scooters

If you feel like exploring the Pyrenees on a scooter, Sarrat Évasion offers a mountain bike session with an instructor. You will first do a few practice exercises, and then carry on with a ride and 45-minute descent.

Climbing

Saint-Lary-Soulan is a great climbing spot, and you will get to choose between an initiation to this activity, or more challenging tracks on natural cliffs.

Hydrospeed

Hydrospeed is a sport activity during which you swim in mountain rivers with the help of floating boards and flippers. Being this close to the water and its surroundings makes it a thrilling experience and gives you the opportunity to navigate freely in harmony with the current of the river.





Hiking

As you must already know, the Pyrenees are an amazing area to hike during spring and summer. With its numerous breath-taking views, the region will blow your mind and make you feel refreshed and energized. To make the most of your hiking sessions, Sarrat Évasion works with great guides who will share their deep knowledge and love of the area. Your guide will lead you through the region safely, away from the crowd, and focus each trail on a specific theme such as the fauna and flora, panoramic views, 3000m high summits, all depending on your requirements and the weather on the day.

Via Ferrata

This one will not be for you if you are afraid of heights, however, if thrills and spills are your cup of tea, Via Ferrata is THE activity you need to try this spring in Saint-Lary-Soulan. It’s a vertical hiking trail, but also can be considered as a climbing trail where the way is eased by cables, scales and other tools. This experience gives you access to some incredible views.






Paragliding

If you always wanted to try paragliding but have been hesitant because of the level of fitness it requires, Sarrat Evasion has the solution for you: two-seater paragliding sessions. That way, you will be with someone who will assist you during the experience so you can enjoy the feelings of it, and also the amazing surroundings. The sessions go from 15 minutes to 45 minutes and are accessible from 6 years old.






Tir a l’arc parcours nature (archery nature trail)

During the session you will be taught the basics of archery while doing a walk in the area, a fascinating and different way to enjoy the area. For people who like a challenge, there is the possibility to take part in archery fighting, during which two teams compete with soft arrows, or do other activities around this unusual discipline.

Speleology (cave exploring)

We all know about the amazing scenery of the Pyrenees, but there are also underground natural wonders that you will be able to discover with qualified instructors during caving workshops.

Sarrat Evasion will provide you with all the equipment and expert guidance you need to do these activities. In March Sarrat Evasion will become a Simply Gascony Working Partner

If you are looking for less action-focused things to do and would like to discover Spring in the Pyrenees from a different perspective, our working partner Mountains to Med is your best bet. They share their knowledge of the natural and historical worlds of the mountains through the various activities they offer, such as bird watching or advice for walking routes. For more information, please read our February Blog, and their dedicated page on our website Mountains to Med.

Spring is an amazing season to spend time in the Pyrenees and discover the area. When renting one of our properties, you will be close enough to visit the mountains by the day, or to stay the night and make it a couple of days. This combination will give you the best of both worlds, staying in a really appealing, very comfortable country house in the rolling hills of Gascony, plus all the excitement of the mountains. Simply Gascony make this possible with the help of our wonderful Working Partners who will share with you their detailed, expert knowledge of their specialist fields.



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